Bombardier Plans Moscow Service Center

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Canada-based Bombardier plans to build a new maintenance center in Moscow, Russia, to support what it calls a growing number of its jets operating in that country, said the Moscow Times. According to the newspaper, Bob Horner, Bombardier vice president for business aircraft sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, on Monday said, "The volumes are such that we feel it's time to get up a service center in Russia." Although many details -- how much will be invested, at which Moscow airport will the center be built and with whom will the airframer partner? -- were not reported, Horner was quoted as saying the final decisions would be made by the end of 2005. The newspaper noted that Warren Buffet's NetJets fractional operator began flying from Moscow two years ago. Additionally, Horner told the Moscow Times that the company has sold 16 Global 500 and Global Express aircraft, plus 15 Challengers, to buyers based in the former Soviet Union since 2000. The newspaper said the Russian Association of Business Aviation reports that business jet flights arranged by Russian clients is growing by as much as 50 percent each year and reached 15,000 in 2004; the country's market for business jets -- including privately owned Boeings -- may be as large as $500 million over the past two years.